Notes from a parish cat and his author Julie Mackenzie

My photo
I am Father Tom Fish, esteemed member of the religious team at Temptation of Christ Parish in the novels by author Julie Mackenzie. As to my background, I was invited into the rectory as a stray, laid on the charm, and was invited to stay, even honorarily ordained and no less spiritual than my sidekick Father Will. He dotes on me to high heaven and forgives all of my street cat proclivities, whatever the hell that means.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hey, Big Boy

You're not going to believe this. I am starting to get mail from feline seductresses.

That's right. I, a church cat, am getting mail from felines who are smitten, send me sultry photos of themselves, and I haven't the faintest idea why. Just from their looks, I know what they have in mind would make my whiskers curl and put a permanent kink in my tail.

One day, I was minding my own business and lo and behold, tucked just under my windowsill cushion was this picture with its accompanying envelope. I noticed no return address, but it was sent to me here at Temptation rectory. There was a note which read: "Tom, I would love to get to know you." Oh, yeah, I'm sure.

This situation brings to mind the many times Temptation Parish is taken the wrong way. The full name is Temptation of Christ Parish. The only problem is humans like short cuts, so it's called Temptation. That's just asking for trouble. One time we had a celebrity auction. Nobody could figure out why we were getting lingerie, hot tub gift cards, suites at hotels in the Poconos, and racy magazine subscriptions. I can't remember what started it all, but talk about embarrassing. Will went nuts, Jack laughed it off and Mary Lou was wondering what we were going to do with perfectly good stuff.

Will keeps hounding Jack that we have to be so careful. I don't think Jack even listens. I think he gets a secret kick out of all the misunderstandings. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out that he's the one who put the picture of this hot little mama under my pillow in the first place.

I want to make it clear that I have a reputation to uphold and an example to set. And, to this dear little lady who is trying to entice me, I say maybe in another life...


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Taking Pen in Paw..

It has come to my attention that our President is under siege from a paparazzi-infested rodent. The fact that this creature has the audacity to upstage our fearless leader is unconscionable. To my keen eye, the fact that this pest is also indecisive will work to my benefit.

As I can only indulge in big words upon the completion of a full meal, I gathered up kibble and begged for morsels until I am about to burst. Only now am I in a position to engage in the sort of elocution that befits our President and is appropriate for any correspondence with him.

The following is the draft of a letter offering my services:


President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

I look with dismay upon footage showing an obvious upstaging of your presence at the podium. While trying to make a serious point, the media is distracted by a rodent, described as a vole, trying to cross in front of you. Discovering the excitement upon his sudden appearance, he scuttles back into hiding. If I recall, the previous administration was not besieged by such audacious vermin, as they had a cat.

I am offering my services. As a Maine Coon cat and a church cat at that, my country needs me at a time like this. I will, through sheer intimidation and a good lunge rid your premises of such attention-getting hijinks once and for all. I am also prepared to bring a host of blessings with me to ensure that our infiltrator leaves the premises with a positive attitude.

Once  my mission is complete, I will bid you all farewell and go about my business at our parish in Pennshaven, Pennsylvania.

Should we find a nest of perpetrators awaiting their opportunity for stardom, I assure you we can put a complete recovery plan into place. Please consider my offer. I'm glad to serve my country and my President.




Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Hi, everybody--

Just wanted to tell you that the website debut from last week continues to be a huge success..thanks, of course to my charm and personality. Best of all, though, are the new friends who have joined the party and will be following my adventures. Hello and welcome to: AbbyManx, ML, Noir the Texas Tabby, and Pierro.
There are also those new faces with their comments which I heartily appreciate! I hope I haven't forgotten anyone..

Before I forget, my next official post will be this coming Saturday morning, as usual, to start off the weekend. Once in awhile, there'll be an occasional mid-week post instead. I can only get on my site when nobody's looking.

So, 'til then, remember: The pearly gates have a cat flap so we can come and go. Dogs have to knock.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Celebration!

Let's blast the trumpets and break out the wine! Or, if you don't imbibe, we'll do it in reverse: break out the trumpets and blast the wine!

J.R. Mackenzie is now the proud owner of her own author website which I am happy to say has a few pictures of me on it.
And--the first book in the Temptation of Christ Parish series is complete. She's been fiddling with the manuscript for about five years now and word has already gotten out to frighteningly good critiques.

Here's the conversation we had when she laid the news on me:

JR: Our site is done. Finally. Done, done, done!

TOM: (hesitates) Um, remember, you told me a Sister Paul Marie said 'only turkeys are done,' and to use the term correctly. You're a writer, you should know these things.

JR: Oh, for heaven's sake, Tom. Not another digression.

TOM: Okay, okay. (pauses) Do I have to confess this one?

JR: Huh?

TOM: You said we have to confess them.

JR: Transgressions, Tom, transgressions, not digressions. Besides, I only said that to keep you on track.

TOM: Oh, that's mean.

JR: Never mind. Let's start over. The site is finished and there's the book, too.

TOM: (a mite sarcastically) Wow!

JR: Everything came together. I'm so happy.

TOM: I'm impressed.

JR: Now, all I need is an agent.

TOM: A what?

JR: You know, a literary agent. Someone to help me find a publisher.

TOM: Oh, that kind of agent. (stops to think) I know one.

JR: You do?

TOM: Sure. A really nice one. Talk to him all the time.

JR: Well.....?

TOM: He wasn't impressed. Said you didn't have a prayer.

JR: (gulps) No?

TOM: None.

JR: Not even one single rosary bead?

TOM: Not even.

JR: That's mean.

TOM: Just kidding..

Got her, didn't I? No, I love her book and I think you will, too. If you want more information, go to my address book above for the link. I'll continue my blog about this 'n that around here with occasional visits by you-know-who. You're invited to go right to the site, read the book's excerpts, her bio, and don't forget to sign up for the contest! C'mon--you know you want to, even if it means listening to a talking cat.

Hugs to all. (I'll keep you posted on the agent part.)
--  Tom

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

I was all ready to go with another post when I remembered that tomorrow is Mother's Day.

Now, when it comes to cats, we don't celebrate Mother's Day--at least, not in the biological sense, that is. We know we had mothers, but we don't keep in touch after we're off on our own, although I would love to have known who she was.

Boy, do I have a mother now, though! Actually, make that a mother and two Fathers. Quite a crowd when it comes to celebrating, too. I try to give Mary Lou gifts every day of the year and, yes, the priests do give her something from me, all fancy-like. It's our form of group hugging.

If you have a mother to remember tomorrow, that's great. If not, think of those who have been like a mother to you and give them a big old smackeroonie or a heartfelt meow with a card.

I want to wish everyone a happy Mother's Day with one of my special occasion limericks:

There's no mother quite like Mary Lou
My care becomes quite a to-do
She spoils me quite rotten
I'm sure she's besotten
No cat rules a kingdom so true!

Just don't let the priests see this 'cause I'll never live it down. Mary Lou will think it's cute.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Heeeere's Vinny!

The cat on the wicker seat next to me is Vinny.
I know, with a name like that you would think he would have black fur and look a little like Al Pacino in his younger days. This golden haybag is the northern Italy version, but that's not why he's a feline paisan, or was.

He got the name Vinny because he, like me, likes pasta sauce with parmesan and, any time there's a spaghetti supper, he's first in line. We have other things in common, too, but to think about them would hurt too much.

This photo was taken in better days when the two of us got along and he was not jealously threatening to defrock me. I don't know how it happened, but we became enemies. It's a curious thing, too--at times our intense dislike can turn half-hearted, especially if there's trouble or he's sick. Then, I get worried and forget what all the fuss is about.

Anyway, his last name is Blackwhisker. You can't see it, but he has one black whisker on his left side. I say it's growing out of his little black heart. I don't know what turned him against me, but I suspect it is this blog.

Long time ago, he and I were talking about blogs. He said I should have one. I said he should have one. Well, the one who actually started putting one together was me. I guess he got jealous because I actually went through with it while he was out cattin' around. Now, I get to talk to everybody, am one of the main characters in a book, and he's jealous. Well, la-di-da.

I think I've mentioned the fact that he belongs to Patsy Gubbers, a sweet old lady who has a comb-over to hide thinning hair, wears crazy earrings, and brings me treats. By the way, the one underneath us in the photo--the Siamese--that's Bentley. It's not a very flattering shot of him. He's actually a therapy cat, the sight of him usually more benign.

Getting back to Vinny. What he says and the way he acts is just intolerable. It's just that I've lost my patience with him. You know what really scares me? I heard rumors that if anything ever happened to Patsy, the housekeeper wouldn't mind having another cat and we'd take him in...can you imagine? If there were ever a time to play fast gun with the rosary, this is it. Or, maybe I could start putting mouse offerings on the altar..